Do you Have the Sunday Scares?

It’s Sunday, January 3rd, and the holidays are over. The merriment and cheer of the past few weeks has vanished, and you now face months of grey, desolate winter.

Looming in the back of your mind is the thought of returning to work tomorrow, knowing that if you hum “The Little Drummer Boy”, your co-workers will NOT prance about with joy, as they did during December. Your spirits are low, and you wonder if you’ve been attacked by one of those dementors from Harry Potter.

That, my friend, is the Sunday Scares.

Fear not – I’m here to help. Below is a photo gallery of playful pugs, displayed for your enjoyment. If this does not warm your soul, then I assume you are a jellyfish, the most evil, heartless creature on earth.

Enjoy!

🙂

 

How to Keep Your Hair Fresh to Death

As a young lass, my dream was to be a hairdresser. I even created my own business called “Beauty Never Ends”. Unfortunately, my only client was my babysitter, so I had to declare bankruptcy.

Needless to say, hair that stuns has always been important to me. As many of you know, I got a fly new haircut about a month ago. Because my new ‘do (an inverted bob) requires significant maintenance, I’ve discovered awesome styling products which I’d like to share with my gal pal readers.

Paul Mitchell Shampoo and Conditioner

paulmitchelI’ve tried several brands of shampoo/conditioner and I haven’t found one that I love more than Paul Mitchell. Since my hair is highlighted, I use the color care products. If you don’t have colored hair, then I highly recommend the Awapuhi Shampoo, which is from the original line. I’ve found that it makes my hair crazy soft and gives it some bounce. It’s more expensive than brands like Garnier Fructis and Tresemme, but it’s worth the money (you can also get the generic brand for cheap at Sally’s Beauty Supply).

It’s a 10it's a 10.jpg Miracle Leave In Product

If you’re like me, and you blow-dry or straighten every day, then you should definitely be using this product, which protects your hair from heat damage. It also makes your hair smooth and frizz free. You don’t need to use much of it – just a few spritzes after you shower. It smells good too! Like Paul Mitchell, this is an expensive product, but one bottle will last you awhile.

Ion Ceramic V Pin Round Brushround brush.jpg

I use this round brush while I’m blow-drying my hair to help it dry faster, smooth it out, and create waves and body. What I like about this is that there are spaces in the center which allow the heat to go through the brush. The bristles are spaced out as well, so the brush doesn’t get caught in my hair.

helen of troy hot air brush.jpgHelen of Troy Hot Air Brush

I can’t get enough of this hot air brush, which is a cross between a blow dryer and a curling iron. I first dry my hair using a regular blow-dryer, but leave the ends a bit damp. I then use this product to curl the ends under while drying the rest of my hair. It’s so easy to use, it won’t burn you like a curling iron can, and the curl holds all day.

Rusk Being Sexy Hairsprayrusk hairspray.jpeg

I mean, “sexy” is in the name, so need I say more? This is a lightweight hairspray that’s not too sticky, but it still holds your hair well. Perfect if you’re looking to add some body. Also smells great, and comes in an adorably cute pink bottle!


There ya go, ladies. With these products, your hair will be “on fleek”!

🙂

 

A Look Back on 2015

I didn’t befriend David Ortiz, so 2015 can’t truly be considered a success. But overall, I’d give it a thumbs up. This past year has been one of self-discovery and self-improvement for me. I know…CLICHÈ. But I’m as serious as a cow that can’t moo, and let me tell you why…

1. I didn’t date

samantha sex and the cityConsidering I’m 25 and my biological clock is ticking, most people would read this and think, “Oh you poor, sweet, spinster girl”. But seriously, it was great.

Samantha from Sex and the City sums it up well when she says, “I love you, but I love me more”. Dating is fun of course, but sometimes you need time to treat yo’self and nobody else. And that’s exactly what I did this year.

2. I discovered passions

11220861_10153607205387718_7824538393003831569_n

Take one look at my Instagram and it’ll come as no surprise that I’ve developed a love for cooking. Some of my favorites to make: Lobster Gouda Mac and Cheese, Zucchini Boats, Cold Sesame Noodles, and Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya.

stand-w-ppI’ve also discovered a passion in regards to social issues. I’ve always felt strongly about challenges facing society – from income inequality to environmental issues. However, I’ve lately become passionate about one topic in particular: women’s health. It is unacceptable that women are given such little autonomy over their own bodies, and I’d like to play a more active role in addressing this issue.

12366415_10207515331219229_2509526030687663731_n3. I started grad school

This past fall I started an MPA program at UMass Boston. It’s been a lot of work, but also so much fun. During my first semester, I learned a ton AND made cool new friends!  Read about my decision to attend grad school here. The picture to the left is my cohort at our end-of-the-semester networking event!

4. I faced a challenge

18% of adults in the U.S. experience an anxiety disorder – myself included. Looking back, I realize that I’ve dealt with anxiety for awhileanxiety, but wasn’t able to recognize it for what it was – until a few months ago, when my symptoms got much worse, and became unmanageable.

This was a huge challenge to face. It was difficult to accept that what I was dealing with was “not normal”, and it wasn’t easy talking about it to others. For this reason, many people live with their anxiety, despite it being very treatable. I now take medication, which has worked well for me. I’m glad I took action. I’m living more comfortably now – my anxiety has decreased, I have more energy, and in general, I just feel better!

12239891_10153783996017718_8872180600420586214_n.jpg5. I overcame obstacles

Literally! In November, I did the Fenway Spartan Race, which pushed me way beyond my physical limits. Despite almost throwing up on the Green Monster, I made it to the finish line. The soreness may have lasted for days, but the glory lasts a lifetime. I’m a SPARTAN, biotch!!


 

I am pumped to see what 2016 brings. See ya next year, peeps!! 🙂

Let Me Be Your DJ

I’m obsessed with music, and I especially love finding new tunes to listen to on repeat. I’m only a hipster when I discover a new song that one else in the world has listened to. I post it on the FB and act like I’m the coolest person alive 😎

I’d like to share ten of my favorite “diamond in the rough” songs. The slideshow below (created through SlideShare) includes a description of the song, and then a youtube clip of the song on the following slide. I highly encourage you to listen:

 

If you have a favorite song that isn’t well known, please share it in the comments. I’d love to listen to it 🙂

Grace vs. Mouse

I had a traumatic experience, y’all. And I must tell you about it in great detail.

I was at my mom’s house, walking into the kitchen to snack on some pepperoni, when I see something scurry across the floor: a disgusting, dark gray mouse!

BD3660-001

At left is an embarrassingly accurate portrayal of my reaction upon seeing the creepy creature. Since the mouse was equally frightened by me, it darted into a crack between the counter and the dishwasher. I went into warrior mode, and prepared for attack. I vowed to defeat this dirty vermin bastard.

I channeled my inner cat, and hovered very still with a piece of tupperware in hand, waiting for the nasty critter to emerge from its safe haven. Eventually, believing that the coast was clear, the four-legged fool came out of hiding. I lunged and tried to trap it underneath the tupperware, but it darted back into the crack.

“You furry demon,” I yelled. “This is not over!”Cat-Mouse-chase-48430460609

It was time to break out the weaponry. I set five mousetraps with peanut butter lures, and arranged them strategically around the kitchen. Time to feast, Stuart Little!

Many hours went by with no action, so I figured the repulsive rodent was meditating or praying for its life or something. The next morning, I walk into the kitchen to get coffee. I freeze when I hear a distinct scratching sound, and then….

SNAP!

Grace: 1 Mouse: 0

Running and Revenge Fantasies

I have to admit something…

pretzelsThe number of peppermint-chocolate covered pretzels I’ve eaten lately is alarming. Mere minutes ago I accepted the fact that I must hit the gym soon. However, this thought brings back memories from the Fenway Spartan Race I did in November, from which I have mild PTSD.

Don’t be concerned. I will overcome my month-long avoidance of the gym with positive thinking and just three or four shots of whiskey (kidding).

I will also use the tactic I learned from my imaginary best friend for life, Mindy Kaling. In her book, she reveals that while running, she plays out revenge fantasies to distract herself from the physical torture.

What a revolutionary idea. Mine will go something like this:

anderson cooperI am happily married to my husband, Anderson Cooper. I am now a world famous journalist, and even Barack Obama follows #NoFilter. Some say my fame is only the result of my marriage to Anderson. But how superficial…it’s clearly because of my good looks.

On the night of March 7th, 2019 (my birthday) I am scheduled to appear on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah to discuss the exploratory feature I wrote on America’s dangerous obsession with Adele. However, as I am about to walk on stage, President Donald Trump has me arrested on jay-walking charges. I am clearly innocent – he is just retaliating over my article criticizing his ban of all Shonda Rhimes shows, including Grey’s Anatomy.

In my place, Ivanka Trump appears on The Daily Show to discuss how she keIvanka Trumpeps her hair so blonde. As soon as Anderson posts my bail of $2 billion, I plot my revenge. That weekend, at Drake’s annual pool party, I run into Ivanka. We get to talking, and it turns out she’s really cool and funny. She feels bad about her father’s actions, so she agrees to help me with my revenge. That night, while Trump is sleeping, Ivanka dyes his hair gray. It has a devastating effect on his presidency. Without his signature hair, Trump is unable to lock down a second term. The U.S. instead elects Jon Stewart.

🙂

 

 

My Decision to Attend Grad School

I cannot remember the exact circumstances surrounding my decision to apply to graduate school, but it went a little something like this:

24-year-old Grace is lounging on her bed on a Thursday night after a long, mindless day at work dealing with customers who don’t appreciate the extent of her patience. She’s listening to top 100 radio, and browsing Buzzfeed for the 17th time that day. In her hand is a Stella Artois, because she can no longer afford craft beer, but at least she’s drinking a beer with a cool name.

As she studies the article “What Sucks More: Regular Dating or Online Dating” she suddenly has a thought that brings a chill to her bones: WTF am I doing with my life?

At that very moment, she decides to apply to graduate school for Public Administration – the perfect program for a Poli Sci nerd like her. The thought of dropping knowledge on unsuspecting conservatives gets her so pumped up.

She begins to daydream about doing her homework in a sexy cafe downtown. A hot, smart stud who loves sports and also has good grammar walks up to her and says, you look like a goal-oriented graduate student, and therefore I want to date you immediately.

Grace and Hot Dude talk about progressive tax structures for hours on end, and she’s really witty because she’s been watching so much Amy Schumer lately.

Smiling from her daydream, Grace thinks to herself, grad school is the right life decision for me!

ONE YEAR LATER, IN THE MIDST OF FINALS….

mindy-kaling-donut

😛

Trevor Noah, a Boss and a Studmuffin

I’m pleased to announce my pretend marriage to Trevor Noah. After my pretend divorce from Jonathan Papelbon several years ago, I thought I would never pretend love again. I was so wrong!

trevor_noah

My man when he proposed, after I said yes

For those who do not know, Trevor Noah is the host who replaced Jon Stewart on The Daily Show. Now, he has had big shoes to fill. And in my extremely-valued opinion, he has done a stellar job.

I know what you’re thinking – Grace, you’re swayed by his heavenly accent and the fact that he’s literally the perfect looking specimen.

Well to that I say, of course I am. But what do you expect from a 25-year old female, ya big dummy?

However, in addition to his gorgeous smile, which scientists have called “the Eighth World Wonder” in every scientific journal I’ve read, you can’t deny that he’s got talent.

He’s crazy funny, downright knowledgeable, and is highly at ease in a seat once held by a legend of a man. If that doesn’t earn our respect, what does? My boo, Trevor, only has one season under his belt. With each season, he will continue to kick ass, and become a legend himself one day.

If that doesn’t convince you, consider the fact that the great Jerry Seinfeld invited Trevor Noah onto his show “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” BEFORE Trevor even started on the Daily Show. That’s how you know he’s legit. Watch the episode below:

 

Alright, ya’ll…I’m off to my pretend honeymoon with Trev-Trev. OW OW!

🙂

If you are a beer enthusiast, read on…

One time at work, I had a conversation with my co-worker about beer. He insisted that people only drink beer to get drunk, and not at all for the taste. I told him how false that is, and argued that the reason there are dark beers and light beers and microbreweries is because people have different tastes and preferences when it comes to beer. I completely schooled him. Clearly he is not a craft beer enthusiast like myself. I asked him what his favorite beer is, and he said Heineken. Need I say more?

Speaking of craft beer, I recently started an account on Untappd, an awesome website/app that I must share with my blog followers, and the world. It combines two things that I dearly love: social media and beer. Untappd allows you to share the different beers you drink, and helps you to discover new ones to try!

You create a profile online, and then download the app to your smartphone. Each time you drink a craft beer, you update your profile with the name of the beer, the brewery that makes it, where you’re drinking it (if you’re out at a bar/restaurant/brewery), and your rating. You can also upload a picture of the beer as well!

Screen Shot 2014-11-30 at 11.27.14 PMThose you’re friends with on Untappd can “cheers” you and comment on your status updates. You also earn badges based on the types of beers you drink – and who doesn’t love getting rewards for drinking? You can also browse top rated beers if you’re looking for a new beer to try! I highly recommend it 🙂

 

Sweet potato is all the rage

In case you haven’t heard, sweet potatoes are literally the greatest thing on earth right now. Not only are they delicious and a pretty orange color, but they are also very healthy for you! They are a great source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin D, iron, and magnesium, which I learned through a quick google search.

I love that you can cook with them in many different ways. You can boil or roast them, and have them as a simple side dish. Or you can use them in your main meal. Here are a few awesome recipes that you should try if you care at all about being an awesome person:

Stuffed Sweet Potato

One-of-our-favorite-healthy-dinner-and-one-secret-that-makes-it-delicious-and-filling-and-youve-probably-never-had-it.-ohsweetbasil.com_

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet Potato and Chickpea Burger

chickpea-burger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup

6a00d8358081ff69e2017d3c4f01e8970c-800wi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black Bean Sweet Potato Chili

Black-Bean-and-Sweet-Potato-Chili-Vertical

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kale and Sweet Potato Quesadillas

kale_and_sweet_potato_quesadilla

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you click on the picture, it will link to the recipe. Now go buy some sweet potatoes right this minute!!